It’s summer. We’re hot, you’re hot, and what else is hot? Tiki! From the new outpost of Trader Vic’s downtown to the throwback palapas of Luau in Beverly Hills, Tiki is seeing a resurgence all over town. So we’re joining forces withPopsicles for Everyone, whose most recent project,Tikitown, USA looks at the rise and fall of Tiki culture in Los Angeles and the remnants it has (or has not) left behind. So what is Tiki? And what does Tiki mean beyond torches and kitsch?

We’re gonna find out with a three-stop Tiki Trek on Thursday, July 23.

Grab your Hawaiian shirts (grass skirts optional) and meet us anywhere along the way:

 6:30-8:00pm Join us in Rosemead at a well-preserved gem of the Tiki era, Bahooka, where there are over 100 aquariums and any drink can be served flaming. Tiki scholar Mirta Viviane Gilson will school us on Tiki history and Kyla Fullenwider will fill us in on the rest of the events planned for Tikitown USA. We can order Polynesian-inspired grub and, to help you recover from your drive, everyone gets one free Mai Tai!

 8:30pm-9:00pm We’ll drive a few blocks away to Kona Kai Apartments, an amazing example of the Tiki buildings that are found in high concentration in this neighborhood. A resident will let us inside this apartment complex to show us some of the original details, and what was changed during the 1988 renovations.

 9:00pm-’til close Then we’ll head west and have a nightcap with anyone who couldn’t make it out to Rosemead at the Tiki Ti, the Silver Lake Tiki institution. Hear more about the Tiki Ti’s unique connection to LA’s Tiki culture while you have a Ray’s Mistake (but if you have more than one, we recommend taking public transportation home).

Let us know if you can make it on Facebook so we can get a rough headcount. And use the messaging abilities there to find carpools and share rides. For our intrepid Metro riders, the 489 Express bus leaves from 1st and Hill downtown and pretty much drops you off at Bahooka’s door (you can hitch a ride with someone back to LA). The Metro Red Line and 2 bus are close to Tiki Ti. Plan your trips at We look forward to seeing you!